Singapore Green Lights the Max
- Archer Aviation’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft took one small — but critical — step forward toward FAA certification last week. The regulator approved the “G-1 Issue Paper” for the company’s Maker aircraft, a step that formally lays out the necessary airworthiness and environmental requirements for final certification. Archer continues to tout a 2024 entry-into-service timeline, which most in the industry doubt will happen. For example, the FAA awarded the G-1 Issue Paper for the 737 Max in 2014 and signed off on the jet (the first time) in 2017 — in other words, the process took a seasoned planemaker Boeing certifying updates to an existing airframe three years. Archer must certify an entirely new aircraft and propulsion system before the Maker will carry its first passengers. United Airlines and affiliate Mesa Airlines have commitments for up to 200 Maker eVTOLs.
- Singapore became the latest country to re-certify the Boeing 737 Max last week, coming nine months after the jet resumed revenue flights after a nearly two-year grounding. The move allows airlines to fly the Max to and from Singapore, as well as the country’s namesake carrier — Singapore Airlines — to resume flying the six 737-8s in its fleet. SIA has another 31 737-8s on order.
- Delta Air Lines is not done in the used aircraft market after closing deals for 36 used Airbus A350s and Boeing 737-900ERs in July. “You’re going to continue to see us do some things where there’s opportunity,” said CEO Ed Bastian at a Cowen & Co. conference last week. Opportunities to acquire used aircraft at advantageous prices is likely to stick around for a “couple of years,” he added. Delta has also converted 55 Airbus A321neo options to firm orders since the beginning of the year.
- Air Lease Corp. has placed 10 Airbus A321neos with Spirit Airlines as part of the U.S. discounter’s growth push. Spirit will take the 10 aircraft from 2023-24. In addition, ALC has committed to sale-and-leasebacks of five A320neos from Spirit’s orderbook due in 2022.
- It was an end of an era for Frontier Airlines when the carrier retired its last Airbus A319 last week. The A319 was the carrier’s entrée into the A320 family when it added the type in 2001. Prior to that, Frontier was an all-Boeing 737 operator. The airline is replacing its A319s with newer and larger A320neos and A321neos.